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Texas Governor Takes Houston Mayor to Task Over Use of Federal Flood Dollars

Texas Governor Takes Houston Mayor to Task Over Use of Federal Flood Dollars

“Where did all the money go?”

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner (D) stepped in it when he complained about the state’s control over federal dollars.

Monday, Tuner, who is up for re-election, tweeted:

It didn’t take long for Texas’ Governor, Greg Abbott (R) to respond.

Turner has a penchant for winding up in the middle of money scandals, scandals which usually involved allegations of misappropriations of funds or of tossing his friends some government contract coin.

Ken Webster Jr. outlined some of Turner’s more notable scandals:

  • Turner has spent around $400 million of tax payer money without city council’s approval (up to $50,000 maximum). This happened during a budget squeeze. After being asked to show documents related to this spending (which is legally required under the Texas Public Information Act), Turner insisted it would take 155,000 hours to assemble the documents (the equivalent of 75 people working full time for a year) and the cost of copying the contracts would be at least $2.8 million.
  • Turner gave health insurance provider Cigna information about medical claims during the bidding process for Houston’s healthcare plan but failed to share that information with competitors. Cigna was eventually awarded the contract. Turner’s close personal friend, Cindy Clifford, is the lobbyist for Cigna, according to city records.Cindy has been seen in photos on social media visiting with Mayor Turner and his family, despite swearing in lobbying reports that she hasn’t given gifted them. The budget for health benefits for Houston in 2019 is $435 million.That’s big money.
  • Turner was unable to manage the city budget after voters overwhelmingly passed Prop B, a decision to pay firefighters a livable wage. This pushed our city further into the red and caused a budget crisis. Houston spent millions of dollars training these firefighters and now hundreds of them will lose their jobs because Turner couldn’t (or wouldn’t) manage our city’s budget in an effective manner. In the entire history of Houston we’ve never laid off firefigthers until now (including during the Great Depression).
  • During a hiring freeze in response to Prop B, Turner hired almost 900 new city workers despite suggesting we didn’t have enough funds to pay firefighters. Many of those employees still had their jobs in April.
  • Turner’s Communications Director used a city facility to work on her personal pet project: a reality TV show concept that had nothing to do with Houston residents or tax payers. This is the local government equivalent of taking the company car on a road trip with all your friends and charging them for its use.
  • In 2015 Turner campaigned on the promise to fix Houston’s potholes. Since then little to nothing has been done to fix the potholes and more recently Turner actually instructed a city employee to create a new pothole with a jackhammer so Turner could participate in a photo-op in which he pretended to fix the recently created hole-in-the-street. Amazingly, there were thousands of real potholes he could have used for the photo but he chose to create a new one instead.
  • Turner has consistently misused funds from the Rebuild Houston infrastructure plan for non-relevant spending on pet projects.
  • Theft crimes in the city has spiked despite a thriving economy. Historically crime usually goes down when the economy improves, but not under Turner’s watch.
  • Turner gave a $6.735 million contract to his former law partner, Barry Barnes. This contract wasn’t assigned to handle legal matters.Instead it was for “outreach, intake and case management services” related to “potential” applicants for the Federal Housing Disaster money.
  • Turner spent a half a million to hire a team of lawyers (more of the mayor’s personal friends) to fight the firefighters in court. (Side note – Houston lawyer and mayoral candidate Tony Buzbee offered his services pro bono to Houston firefighters if the city proceeded with litigation against them.)
  • And let’s not forget the insurance fraud allegations.

That list doesn’t even include the most recent scandal which involves a $95k paid “executive internship.” The icing on that cake?


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buckeyeminuteman | October 9, 2019 at 1:09 pm

Total recall!

Yet he’ll get re-elected because RAYCISS

A Jackson-Lee intern? That explains a lot!

has to have his job title on his shirts lest he be mistaken for just another houston thug

They will cry racism but there are millions of honest African Americans who could do the job far better than this crook. It’s not about color but about integrity. They need to oust this man from office.

    n.n in reply to elle. | October 9, 2019 at 3:37 pm

    Yes, a legacy of diversity from a progressive era. One step forward, two steps backward.

    Another Ed in reply to elle. | October 9, 2019 at 11:39 pm

    “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” –Martin Luther King, Jr.

    So, disregard the color of his skin and understand that the content of his character may be lacking.

Is that a trick question?

this is nothing new for Houston, same bs different day. like san francisco always has been a s***hole, just more noticed now.

He’ll claim black privilege and blacme it on his coke habit.

Turner has spent around $400 million of tax payer money without city council’s approval (up to $50,000 maximum).
That right there should have him in prison. He’s afoul of the law, and I’m pretty sure there’s no immunity in TX for a sitting politician.

And, since at least some of it is TX law (not local) it should be the Rangers arresting him.

Once the FBI finishes seizing evidence here in Illinois from our corrupt politicians, they might as well move on to Houston–looks like there’s plenty to do there as well.

In 2015 Turner campaigned on the promise to fix Houston’s potholes. Since then little to nothing has been done to fix the potholes
Maybe he should be worried about importing more folks from south of the border?

Houston fools citizens will keep voting in this crook until they have to pay.

Ladies and gentlemen, behold a future 2024 Democrat presidential candidate.

Does Texas not have a malfeasance/misfeasance/nonfeasance procedure for ousting such incompetents without to fuss with a recall election? Ohio’s got one (ORC 3.07-3.10). I would explore beginning removal procedures in whatever way is available as incompetent local leaders are not meant to be endured.

Another crooked Democrat destroying his race.

Wow, what a turd Houston has for a Mayor!

I knew Houston had problems but I didn’t think they could top EL Paso for corruption scandal.